Ryan says ticket won’t ‘duck the tough issues,’ will repeal Obamacare

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Still, he did carve out some stances that differ from Mr. Romney, including the need for some defense spending cuts. Mr. Romney has pledged to increase spending on the military instead.

Even as the convention looked forward to Mr. Romney, it took a reverential look back at the former Bush presidents with a video in which they joked and remembered their days in the Oval Office. At one point, the senior Mr. Bush did his own impression of comic Dana Carvey doing an impression of him.

Former first lady Laura Bush also recalled the time a dog bit a reporter, drawing cheers and laughs from the Republican delegates.

The evening also featured speeches from several of the Republicans who were reportedly on Mr. Romney’s short list of vice presidential nominees, though none had anywhere near the star-power performance of Mr. Ryan.

Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty compared Mr. Obama to a bad tattoo — something that you think is cool when you’re young, but you come to regret later. Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio joked about being on the short list but missing the cut: “Apparently, it wasn’t short enough.”

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